What Orthodox Preterism Means.

What does it mean to be an Orthodox Preterist? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Over the weekend, I had a friend call me about speaking at a conference and said, “You’re a Full Preterist. Right?” I immediately insisted that under no circumstances was that not my position. Absolutely not. Then I was asked if I was a Partial Preterist. I replied that no, I am an Orthodox Preterist. What does that mean? It means I believe Jesus will bodily return someday and there will be a bodily resurrection of the righteous and the wicked.

I was told that this is often talked about in literature as if it is Partial Preterism. I recognize that and I know many scholars even use the term, but I fully insist that it not be used. Words have a meaning and when it comes to eschatology, my wording and meaning is precise.

I consider what is known as Full Preterism to be a heresy. After all, we are to be raised as Jesus was raised and if we are just raised spiritually, then Jesus was raised spiritually. The common reply to this is that Jesus is the exception, but this is a cop-out. To say that Jesus will return in the future has always been a part of historical Christianity.

I prefer to give the title of Neohymenaeanism to the movement known as Full Preterism based on the heretic mentioned in 2 Timothy. Why would I not accept the term of Full Preterism then? Because if I think Full Preterism is a heresy, and I do, then if I am just a Partial Preterist, then does that mean that I am a partial heretic?

After all, would you want to be a Partial Arian? Would you want to be a Partial Modalist? Would you want to be a Partial Adoptionist? Of course not. Why would anyone accept a viewpoint that makes theirs a partial heresy?

I realize my friends who are dispensationalists disagree with me. That is fine. I would hope that they would realize that everything I believe about eschatology, while they might think it wrong, it does not deny any orthodox tenets of Christianity. I still hold to the physical and bodily return of Jesus in the future and that there will be a resurrection of the righteous and the wicked. In the same way, I disagree with them thoroughly, but I am very hesitant to call any position a heresy. That really has to be earned. Believing in the future return of Jesus and the bodily resurrection doesn’t make me a futurist in any way. It’s just a sign that I’m a Christian.

So when you ask me my position, I am an Orthodox Preterist. I am not a partial heretic. I could be wrong on my Preterism, which I highly highly doubt, but I do not hold to any heretical belief with it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Olivet Discourse Matthew 24:35

How sure are the words of Jesus? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Jesus here has a contrast. He is clear that this generation will not pass away, but He says Heaven and Earth will pass. He also says that His words will not pass away. While that could be a pointer to an inerrancy of His words, which I would accept even though this is not necessarily I think the best text for it, it’s more the idea of the certainty of the judgment. Of course, it would be. In Matthew 23 he had just lambasted the Pharisees and shared the certainty of judgment to them.

Some could think that this verse could indicate the destruction of Earth. I do not think that anymore than God needs to destroy the Heaven that He dwells in, as if it’s somehow impure. The same would refer to the sky. If anything, I think this would indicate more of a purification. The way the universe is today will pass away. God has always been about redeeming the Earth just as He has been about redeeming the human body, hence the incarnation.

At this point also, I think there is a decided shift in the discourse. Jesus is now wrapping up talking about an event that is coming on the first-century audience. Now, He will shift towards later judgment. At the same time, it is a present judgment. These are immediate calls to repentance for the people, which would also make sense since he has told the people now that judgment is coming on them soon, or at least His disciples who will bring this message to the people.

This also should be our message when it comes to judgment. Repentance. We need to be teaching that constantly. Is it foolish to say something like Covid-19 is a direct judgment of God? I think so. Does it mean we shouldn’t tell people to repent? Absolutely not. If anything, disasters should always show us the things that we take for granted.

Jesus’s audience was indeed living on borrowed time. Who else is? You and I are. None of us is guaranteed another day, let alone another minute. That generation did not pass away before the judgment came, but we know some passed away before that judgment and faced their own personal judgment then. The same could happen to you and I. Odds are you won’t die of Corona. Seriously. You likely won’t, all things being equal. Still, you could die in a car accident today. Anytime you hear a story on the radio of someone dying in a car accident, unless it was a suicide attempt, most of them had no plans to die that day and yet it happened.

As we go forward, we will see warnings of judgment and how we could be judged at any time. Be watchful. You don’t know when your time is.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Olivet Discourse Matthew 24:16

Why should we go to the mountains? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We’re in the Olivet Discourse and for our next verse, we’re asking if this fits better with a first-century milieu or with a more modern one. Keep in mind, the modern outlook is that this fits the end of the world. I have already said the text says end of the age, but I’m going to be assuming some people still have this mindset. Let’s look at the verse.

“then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. “

Okay. So let’s start with an obvious question. If the world is coming to an end, who cares if you’re in the mountains? Are mountains somehow immune to the end of the world?

Second, why would only those in Judea flee? Does Jesus just not care for the people in Samaria or for those in His home of Galilee? Does He just not care for the rest of the world? Why is this focused on Judea?

Now, if you look at this as if it is a first-century event, then it makes sense. You flee to the mountains not because the world is coming to an end, but because you need to escape the onslaught on Jerusalem and the temple. It also makes sense about why Samaria and Galilee or anywhere else are not mentioned. That’s not where the battle is.

Yet a question arises. If Rome is already here, how can anyone flee? That’s a good question. The answer is that in the middle of the attack, at one point the Romans did withdraw. It’s still not known why they did, but they did. Christians knew what Jesus said and they followed it. They took to the mountains immediately and ran off. In doing so, they escaped. Had any Jewish person done the same, they would have been safe. Unfortunately, they didn’t.

Keep in mind we are asking about which context fits better. At the start of this section, we are seeing that a local context fits much better. I would hope that even my futurist and dispensationalist readers would be able to look at that and say that here at least to them, they can understand why the local interpretation would be compelling. I can grant when we get to later verses why people think a futurist one is more compelling, such as when we talk about cosmic imagery, but I will argue that that cosmic imagery is not what modern Western people think that it is.

But that is for the future. It will be a little bit before we get there.

In Christ,
Nick Peters